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San Francisco 13, Wiener 9, Us 5, Sarah 4, Mr. Cohen 3, Jane Kim 2, Tim Cohen 2, Deborah Bennedict 2, Mr. Evans 2, Jim Lazarus 2, Mar 1, Loop 1, Jamie Whitaker 1, Mr. Whitaker 1, City 1, Piers 1, Swedener 1, Ucsf 1, Unit 1, Ag 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 20, 2012
    1:00 - 1:30am PST  

these smaller efficiency units can be one of the many solutions to help address the housing affordability crisis that we are experiencing here in san francisco. san francisco has a desperate need for housing across all income levels and particularly in the work force, student housing and other populations. the underlying building code amendment, which is the companion legislation to the item before us today, promotes in my view housing affordability by design, reduced costs for conception are passed on in the form of low rents. and this can be done without subsidies. while we do have a very robust subsidized affordable housing program in san francisco, of which i am extremely supportive, it is not by itself enough. the smaller units will be an attractive and affordable option for people entering the work force, for students, for transition-age youth, for the formerly homeless, for seniors,
and for various kind of housing, market rate or not market rate. as many as 40% of san francisco households are single people. this could be a great and much more affordable option for them. we know that rents are through the roof now. a one-bedroom apartment in many places of the city is running for 2,500 or even $3,000 a month. large studios are often running for $2,000 or more a month. and many people simply cannot afford these rents. we have a lot of people who are living in roommate situations and sometimes cramming in more people than they probably should into some of these roommate situationses. and i believe people should have the option, if they want, to live on their own in a smaller unit with their own kitchen and with their own bathroom. these units will also support a growing national and international trend of what we call cooperative housing where people have smaller private
spaces, but share larger centralized common areas in buildings. we're seeing this with various kinds of housing, including senior housing. mr. chairman, i respectfully request that the committee support today in forwarding this legislation today board. and, mr. chairman, if you don't have any comments, we can -- does planning have a report? >> yes. >> so, we'll hear from planning. >> thank you, good afternoon, chairman swedener, sophie hewett planning staff. [speaker not understood] this past thursday, november 15th. at the hearing after public comment, and fairly robust discussion, the commission passed resolution 18 747 recommending that the board of supervisors approve the proposed ordinance with several modifications. there has been some confusion since last thursday's hearing so i'd like to take this opportunity to clarify that the commission voted to support the
proposed ordinance with a cap of 375 units on efficiency dwelling units. the commission's recommendation was to refine the concept of a cap and that was based on a lengthy discussion about when micro units would count toward the numeric cap, would it be at the time of entitlement, would it be at the time of construction, or perhaps at the certificate of occupancy. further, the commission discussed the reporting requirement and recommended that the board of supervisors clarify the content and the timing of the report [speaker not understood] amendments address that concern. the second modification proposed by the planning commission was that the board not add a new definition to the planning code. rather, that the new common and open space requirements should refer to the definition of efficiency dwelling unit used in the building code. third, the recommendation from the commission was that the maximum requirement for interior common space be replaced with the minimum
requirement of 10 square feet of common interior space per efficiency dwelling unit and i see that you've added that into your amendment. and then lastly, it was a minor suggestion that the proposed new interior common space requirement be removed from proposed planning code section 135.4 to the planning code section 140. and i understand that that change has been made as well. that concludes my presentation and available for questions. thank you. >> thank you, ms. hayward. okay. mr. chairman, at this point may we open up for public comment? public comment will be two minutes. >> because of the number of items and speakers on other items, two minutes. >> and i have exactly two public comment cards on this legislation. i suspect there are more commenters than that, so, please fill out a card. i'll call the two that i have. jamie whit -- whitaker and deborah bennedict.
hello, supervisors, my name is deborah bennedict. i'm a housing advocate for seniors and disabled through the senior disabled action housing collaborative. i am here to ask for you to please consider the fact that seniors are not actually the target market for these units and they are not appropriate for seniors. there might be homeless seniors, perhaps, that can use these, but we already have the tenderloin and we already have this development. as the supervisor mentioned, this is against the studies, the regional studies for housing needs and the housing needs as proven by a study group is for low-income family housing, not for single individual housing. the tenderloin and lots of low-income housing developers
are focused on that type of housing. so, if, in fact, this is for, as the people on the radio said today, successfully used in other cities specifically for young beginning workers, please remove any reference to seniors because, in fact, seniors will not be in this housing. and to pre-he tend or pimp the housing of seniors and the disabled in saying that these 220 square feet is appropriate for a person in a wheelchair with a walker, or with a cane and helpful person is actually adequate needs to be removed in any reference from this ordinance * or from this proposal from the planning department. seniors will be living there, not only people that are beginning workers and low-income. please don pimp the seniors and disabled and say this housing is appropriate for them because in fact it's not.
a very small population that is not -- that is in decent health at present would be able to be here, but not long-term. >> and before we get to mr. whitaker, i'll call a few more cards. jim lazarus, sarah short, [speaker not understood], and linda chap man. good morning or afternoon. my name is jamie whitaker and i live in the south of market district in the rincon neighborhood. i live in a 43 2 square foot studio the past six years and i can tell you it's challenging to want to spend a lot of time in such a small space. and i find myself at dolores park quite often, golden gate park to get that breathing room that i think all human beings really need to have a healthy physical and mental state.
the concern i have, cap or no cap, i just don't believe that that sized unit belongs in an area that isn't an established residential area like south of market. south of market has over 40,000 residents and 40 acres of parks managed publicly, not by cbd but recreation and parks. that's 1/10 of an acre per thousand residents as it stands now managed by recreation and parks. the green envy report produced in 2007 by the former neighborhood parks council has very well detailed. district 3 and district 6 are yearning, aching for more green space. and without that green space, i'm not sure it's humane to have such small units in those spaces. now, maybe along the jay church line, maybe along the l, the m, the t, the kt, maybe that's the spot for these efficiency units where there's parks and stuff. i do have an overhead that i
want to show. the congestion in south of market has created a health problem, an air pollution health problem. locating most of our affordable housing these days, 35% of the 3,000 units being built in transbay will be in this area where the particulate matter in the air is already unsafe levels. we need congestion pricing first. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. supervisors, jim lazarus, san francisco chamber of commerce. we support this legislation. we believe it is an appropriate experiment, if you would, on smaller size efficiency units. the housing needs of all in the 1920s and 30s, the studio apartments that are so preach leapt in the tenderloin, nob hill, pacific heights, when those apartments were built was a new form of housing for individuals that leaving home for the first time. and if we have an opportunity now because as you said, supervisor wiener, we have a
lot of multi-bedroom units that are not being occupied by families. any of us with young adult children know that they're living 3 or 4 to a unit in san francisco to make it affordable. but they're taking units out of supply for families because there's 3 or 4 unrelated adults living in an apartment. if we can move some of that into units like this and if this experiment works and they are attractive and people will occupy them, i think that will reduce some of the burden we have on existing multi-family homes and new multi-family apartments, multi-unit, multi-bedroom apartments. that will be developed in the future. so, it is an experiment worth pursuing and we urge the board to adopt it. and i would also like to congratulate supervisor mar on a tremendous victory in his reelection. >> thank you. i, too, would like to thank and congratulate supervisor
mar. and i would like to thank supervisor wiener for working on this kind of legislation. the biggest concerns that were expressed in cfsf land use committee were about family housing, that maybe this would free up family housing because a lot of people are living in places that are all split up. it's not even like communes or friends back in the '60s, but people have a little room with a lock on the door and they don't know each other in many cases. a concern was whether there is going to be sufficient common area. i think that really needs to be looked to. there is a provision now for common area. it does say it could be an exercise room. it could be a kitchen or something like that. there really needs to be lounge area. at ucsf where i spend a lot of time, they have wonderful lounge areas. people are living in dorm rooms, but they have all kinds of open common space that they can go to, even if there can't be exterior space, there certainly can be interior common area.
i want to say, too, this is not really a radical experiment at all. the single marketplace was where people lived in san francisco. people i lived with, people who are my friends, my brother and others, people whom i know even now still live in those. apparently what happened in the '70s was when the mental hospitals closed and people moved into those hotels and changed the atmosphere of them, they began to be thought of as an inferior form of housing for poor people. this is the place that people whom i knew who were single lived. and either they were places that had food downstairs like a residence club or they ate out in restaurants. and the size, i don't see being really -- the friends in my building, we had several where i lived in a co-op, we had several of these for rent. they were well used by older people or students, variously. there are others on nob hill and entire buildings on nob hill, as long as they are not taking up vast areas of land where families actually could be built.
good afternoon, supervisor wiener and mar. i'm sarah short with the housing rights committee of san francisco. we are one of the organizations that in coalition with others raised some flags about this proposal in its original form to amend the building code. and those included some unintended consequences and just general sort of fears we had about what this might look like. it's micro units proliferates in our city and particularly we're concentrated in areas such as south of market. that included the potential for escalating rents in the neighborhood, displacing families who currently live there. a drain on public resources with the increased density, et cetera. and i'm happy to say that we brought those concerns to supervisor wiener and were able to sit down and produce this compromise proposal.
i'm grateful to the supervisor for hearing our concerns and working with us to craft something that i think we can all live with. what this does is allow us to try this experiment. maybe it will really be helpful in serving a certain market niche. maybe it will relax the pressure on the housing market. but in case those horrible things that we dreaded happening were to occur, it will not happen in a large scale with a large impact on our communities. and it was just too much of a risk to go whole hog and unbrideled on this. so, thank you very much for, again to supervisor, and to all my housing advocate partners for sitting down and working this one out. i think this was a really responsible way to do public policy. thanks.
good afternoon, supervisors. my name is angelica [speaker not understood], and i'm with the south of market community action network [speaker not understood]. along with sarah, we [speaker not understood] was an organization that raised a lot of concerns about building efficiency units without a cap because of numerous concern aside from what sarah talked about. a previous speaker talked about there was a lot of increase in the south of market. the population increase, over 30%. we want to make sure that there's adequate analysis and thinking and really planning around the different amenities and public infrastructure that the neighborhoods need when there is population increase in the area along with traffic congestion. and also we had a lot of concern around how this is
going to impact the affordable housing. we're still not convinced that this might alleviate people from not doing roommates because a lot of people does roommates because they want to keep the rents under 800. a lot of students inform us they cannot use their tuition fees or tuition things to housing. they actually still have to get a job. so, there is a need for affordable housing for families, students, seniors and everyone. therefore, that's why we worked diligently with our allies and you supervisors to ensure that we have a cap to really see and analyze that this is a need. and we really appreciate you hearing our concerns and we look forward to working with the planning staff to actually look over those analysis. thank you again and we hope to -- that you support this legislation. >> thank you. i don't have any other cards.
so, if anyone after mr. cohen is interested in speaking, you can just go ahead and line up. good afternoon, supervisors. tim cohen on behalf of the housing action coalition. i'd like to support the proposed legislation for new housing product efficiency dwelling units with one important exception. we have said repeatedly that edus are a logical necessary response for badly needed new housing in an extremely expensive housing market. edus have long been common in other countries and are now starting to appear in other u.s. cities. they make perfect sense for a dense land constrained city like ours. unfortunately, the proposal is seriously undermined by the idea of a 375-unit cap on market rate edus. it's poor public policy for two reasons. first, while hack could in principle support a threshold that would trigger planning department review, it is simply not possible what could be understood from such a very, very small sample size which is
really 1/10 of 1% of the city's housing stock. what conclusions would planning staff be able to reach by studying 375 units? we dispute that that's a statistically valid sample. second, the 375 unit cap sends exactly the wrong message to the market rate builders and lenders. a cap this small conveys in a fairly direct way the city does not support this type of housing, may soon close the window on it, and investors should proceed at their own peril. more generally this hyper cautious approach to new housing while common in san francisco is frustrating to our members. it is yet another example of the contradiction between the values we espouse and the policies we adopt. while as a city we claim to support housing affordability, especially for the work force and middle class families who have a long-standing tendency to adopt policies that actually result in making housing scarce and expensive, never more so than today.
in conclusion, we think this is a good idea. it's long-overdue and should move forward, but we have great concerns how this cap is going to be interpreted. thank you. >> next speaker. good afternoon, supervisors. i live in district 6. i really like the area i live in because it's close to a lot of parks in the city i need to go to, especially city hall to come see y'all. and i feel like, well, since it's south of market, i'm throwing the idea out there. i know you may think it's kind of silly for me to say this. but since it's going to be south of market, why don't you utilize that building on the corner of sixth and howard with all those little things on that side? you know, especially since this is going to be experimental, right? so, you know, you have a lot of old buildings anyway. just renovate that since they say it's going to cost a lot of money to do anything with that building anyway. so, sixth and howard that is an
up and coming area because they're putting a police station. they have a subway. it's close to end up. it's close to -- what is that grocery store down there, whole foods or whatever it is. so, it's a very up and coming area. so, that money could be spent since it's experimental units, and the s-r-os, i don't see a difference in s-r-o and that except you have to have an id to go in an s-r-o. it's no different than an sro and what you're talking b. so, it's just an idea i'm throwing at y'all because it could be a good building, you know. thanks. >> thank you very much. next speaker. good afternoon, members of the board. peter cohan, council community housing organization. just here to support the compromise measures that's come forward. thanks, supervisor wiener, for working with the housing committee and other members of the board. it was refreshing to see the
planning commission strongly support this measured approach last thursday. so, let's see how it comes out. this is an experimental new typology of housing, if you will. the importance will be to learn from what comes out of this first, if you will, pilot phase so the reporting requirements will tell us a lot. and we'll be very informative to the next steps going forward. that's feedback loop is something we want to give you detailed input on. but what's come out from this long process is now before you and the full board is a good compromise. thanks very much. >> thank you, mr. cohen. good afternoon, supervisors. congratulations, supervisor mar, for your brilliant reelection. and thank you, supervisor wiener, for bringing this up. as tim cohen said a little while ag i am concerned also. i do work a lot with the construction industry. i'm concerned if we only allow 375 units to be built, it ain't
gonna happen because people -- bankers might say, you know what, this is great, but what's going to happen after this? [speaker not understood]. i'd like to say go forward but i think we really should think about expanding it. thank you. >> thank you. is there any additional public comment? seeing none, mr. chairman, may we close public comment? >> yes, public comment is closed. >> i want to thank everyone who came out today. i really want to particularly thank sarah short and also gail gilman from community housing partnership who wasn't here today who were very, very deeply involved in the negotiations and were really good negotiating partners in trying to work out this compromise. i also want to again thank president chiu who was also very supportive and helpful in helping all of us move to this process. i just had a couple final
points. first of all, you know, i think we all -- a lot of people have it in our heads we would love for everyone to live in a single-family home or some really big spacious flat. and unfortunately that's not the reality of 2012 san francisco. very few people who are not fortunate enough to have bought or rented a large place a long time ago can afford to do that. it's just not an economic reality in san francisco and we need to be housing everyone, not just the people who are lucky enough to be able to afford or to have spent a long time living in a reasonably priced large unit. we also, as much as we all support public investment in affordable housing -- and i was a big proponent of proposition c, we're never going to have enough public affordable housing money to solve our
housing affordability problem just through public investment. part of the solution, it will never be the entire solution, we have to be flexible and creative. and i also want to address i think a fallacy that's out there that we somehow don't have micro units right now. we have many, many micro units in san francisco right now and it's called roommate situation. this is referred to a little bit in public comment. how many 3 and 4 bedroom apartments do we have in san francisco where there are three, four, five, six or more roommates packed into those apartments, one or two living in a small bedroom with 3, 4, 5, 6 people sharing one bathroom, sharing one kitchen, maybe no living room converted into a bedroom. that's called a micro unit situation where you don't even have your own private bath and bedroom. this will provide people with their own living space and their own private kitchen and bathroom. i also completely agree with
the point that was made that we need more family housing. we absolutely do. and we should be supporting that. but almost 40% of san francisco ans live alone as i mentioned at the beginning. and we need to be focusing on that segment of the population as well * . the two are not mutually exclusive. so, colleagues, this is a good compromise piece of legislation. although i agree with mr. cohen and with the planning commission that ideally obviously i introduced this with no cap on it and that would be my preference. but politics and legislation being the process that it is, we work together and we came up with what i think is a good compromise and i stand by that compromise. so, -- >> yeah, that came in too late. i don't think we can reopen public comment. >> okay. so, colleagues, first, mr.
chairman, i'd like to move the amendments and then i would move to forward the legislation with a positive recommendation as a committee report to the full board for tomorrow. >> okay. let me first ask if supervisor kim had comments. >> first i want to address one of the comments from public comment. i just want to state that the hotel referred to on sixth and howard is slated for affordable family housing and it's already in movement. i think there was some stalling because of the dissolution of redevelopment and that's part of the -- soma redevelopment area plan. but the funding has been secured for the hotel. what slowed it down is the building is historic. we have some additional processes unfortunately. but it will be fulfilling a need in the south of market which is the need for more family housing, multi-unit housing. of course, affordable housing for families which is great. but i do just want to say as someone who has a lot of concerns about efficiency units, particularly the impact in the south of market where we already have a lot of density,
and also questioning the market need for this type of unit, i do appreciate the compromise that was brokered and i just want to thank supervisor wiener and all the advocates for really coming together and putting forward a solution where we can test out this type of model of housing and see what the market demand is and kind of who inhabits this type of housing. i know it's a small amount, but i think it's a good start. so, i want to appreciate the work that went behind it. it was months and months of work. >> i want to just add also thanking supervisor wiener for working with the nine community-based organizations and affordable housing groups, also from planning and others that put a lot of work into this. i think there is a strong and firm safeguard that's really built into this compromise that allows flexibility in building more housing, but also is really sensitive looking at potential impacts and benefits of these types of smaller units. so, i'll be supportive. on the amendments, can we adopt
the amendments without objection? thank you. and on the legislation itself as amended, as a committee report to the full board on november 30th, can we do that with positive recommendation without objection? thank you. thank you. thank you, supervisor wiener. thank you, everyone. mr. evans, i forgot to mention we're being broadcasted by sfgtv and the hard working staff, jessie larson and jeff rob son. i'd like to thank them. mr. evans, could you please call item number 4? >> item number 4, hearing to consider the initial project design of the proposed golden gate -- golden state warriors development on piers 30 to 32 and seawall lot 330, and update on the waterfront transportation network assessment. >> thank you. and the sponsors are supervisor jane kim and president david chiu. so, we're joined by supervisor jane kim on this item. supervisor kim. >> thank you, chair mar.
thank you for agendizing this hearing today. as many of you know, last wednesday at the budget finance committee, we considered the fiscal feasibility of the pier 30-32 project which includes a potential arena with our warriors team back here in san francisco. the committee did determine that the project is fiscally feasible, but as many of you know, we do have a lot of concerns in the neighborhood as we move through this process. and, no, i called this hearing to readdress one of the current concerns that we've heard the most often regarding this project which is transportation. this hearing is the first of multiple hearings that i have requested to give the board periodic updates on the proposed golden gate warriors development project. this first hearing is just an informational hearing to consider the initial project design for the development on pier 30-32 with assessment of the transportation network very near and around pier 30-32. and i just also want to acknowledge